Organ of Alliance Marxist-Leninist (North America)
                                Volume 1, Issue 4; April-May 2003 $1.00

A L L I A N C E !  A Revolutionary Communist Monthly

Alabaster 5th Millenium      Babylonian head  Writing cylinders 3000BC Ivory 8th C BC man monkey Oryx

    The celebrated Indian writer Arundhati Roy wrote these following words to open a condemnation of USA and UK imperialism:     She could not have known how accurate she was to be. For she had stressed both the bomb damage, but also the humiliation. That humiliation came only to be too true, as the deliberate USA policy of humiliation of the peoples of Iraq, was made clear to the world.

    Before we write any more on this topic, we should be unequivocally clear that the abomination of this war lies primarily in the needless killing and endless suffering the Iraqis have endured in this shameless war of imperialist aggression. However – we must also state the view that destruction of national pride is a key part of imperialist designs - to reduce a peoples, to servility and to lose faith in their own powers. It is a strategy from time immemorial, and can be found in ancient texts.

    But – what happened with the pillaging of the Baghdad museum? In the first place, yet another USA and UK state violation of the Geneva Convention has occurred:     Long before the "War of Shame" actually occurred, the War-Mongers had been alerted already that the land of Iraq was home to some of the world’s most important heritage sites – it was after all, the land where the first recorded writing had taken place in history. Several USA based archaeologists had briefed the War-Mongers where these sites were – and that they would be subject to damage and potential looting. But nothing was done and on April 10th , the inevitable - happened:      On April 5th, a briefing in Kuwait of the assembled embedded "-in-bed-with-the-military-fascists" journalists were told by US Major Christopher Varhola that:     And what has happened? A whole priceless museum of culture has been pillaged. The scene must be almost indescribable, yet Robert Fisk does a fine job:     Fisk also recalls the people associated to the museum, like the Director of State Board of Antiquity:     Although Fisk is not a communist, he is a rare commodity – an honest journalist working for the "Western press" in the Middle East. It is therefore sad to see his incorrect assertion that:     Fisk is quite wrong in this assessment. We can be so categorical because it is clearly emerging that the USA ruling classes had decided to wreak havoc on the culture of the country – no doubt hoping to destroy its potential to build an anti-imperialist movement. Destroy the pride of a people and you have destroyed its will to live – as a nation. But, more than one imperialist power has found to its cost that this does not happen.     The tone and content of many of the Western media reports, has been that the looting taking place in Iraq is a spontaneous reaction to the poverty and deprivation of the Saddam Hussein years. However this benign view, is in sharp contradiction to both objective reports, and to some obvious facts.

    For instance, the enormous military presence and fire-power of the USA and the UK in the cities was simply not deployed as a guard and protection for key sites – hospitals, water and electric utilities, markets, etc. Leave side the museum, where it is also clear that the USA army refused to intervene to protect the cultural heritage of museums and repositories of ancient manuscripts in the libraries. It seems obvious that if they could protect the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Oil, that it was purely for their own strategic reasons that they have allowed the looting to proceed unabated. As Irwin Finkel, curator at the British Museum says:

    All this puts the Rumsfeld comments that the looting has "been exaggerated", and "freedom is messy" – into a perspective of deliberate and wanton destruction of the Iraqi dignity, human rights, and cultural heritage.

    We will try to answer the critical question: "Why?" shortly.

    The following eye-witness account, tells a very different story from the slavish American media. It comes from a Swedish paper, which reports the comments of Mr.Khaled Baroumi, a student in Sweden who went home to Iraq on a humanitarian mission:

    There were 170,000 separate objects, These ranged form skeletal remains of Neanderthal man (45,000 years ago); to alabaster figures from Tell Es-Sawwan (6th Millenium); painted pottery from Eridu (4000 BC); impressive early Islamic manuscripts and handcarts form the Abbasid, Seljuk, Ottoman eras; more than 3,000 tablets of inscribed clay on mathematics, literature, administration and legal tables; a Sumerian bison headed harp in gold and precious stones, the so-called Mona Lisa of Nimrud (750 BC); gigantic statues of ancient times . etc.

    The illustrations we show, are detailed in a very comprehensive (although in black & white) web-site, that we recommend at:

    Of – which can be found at:

Inscribed Duck weight                         Lion Hunt 3000 BC                        Nimrud 'Mona Lisa'

    TheArtNewspaper says this:     The primary reason is undoubtedly imperialist arrogance, with its goal to degrade the pride of the Iraqi peoples.
    But a close second reason, is that old answer to so many questions concerning the historical "Whys" concerning imperialism? Avarice.

    The American Council on Cultural Policy (the ACCP) has openly stated it wants the right to obtain these Iraqi treasures by import legally:

    The New York Metropolitan has long been vexed at the British Museum’s collection of Iraqi treasures pillaged by the British archeologists such as Leonard Wooley. Ironically, an older vintage British adventurer-imperialist – Gertrude Bell was kinder to Iraqi and Arab views. She is credited with founding the National Museum, and passing an export ban on treasures. It is a ban that apparently, the New York Met has chafed about.

    Eleanor Robson, a cuneiform expert at Oxford University Museum also refers to the "hidden agenda" of the ACCP:

    She points out that the ACCP has many members who belong to the right-wing fundamentalist Christian agenda, saying:     It seems inescapable that the imperialists have justified their historic designation as Robber Barons. Most probably some items were "commissioned" by rich art connoisseurs. It is significant for example, that certain key items were looted. Duplicates were simply ignored, and the "looters-professional thieves" opened museum vaults with keys, and used glass cutters with great skill.
    Undoubtedly, in the short term UNESCO will not succeed in its stated goals, of preventing these treasures from being spirited to the West. In the long term, this will not crush the Iraqi [peoples quest for national liberation. The working classes of a future Marxist-Leninist governments in the West, will have to confront the legacies of cultural pillaging.